King Farouk of Egypt's watch sells for $690,281

Geneva was host to a Sotheby's sale of Important Watches on Sunday (May 9) which netted an overall auction total of $6,338,588.

The sale's top lot was an attributed Piguet and Capt gold shield shaped enamel watch, once owned by King Farouk I, Egypt's penultimate king, from1936-1952. It is dated to circa 1805-1810.

Billed as "the King Farouk Shepherdess Automaton", the timepiece's most striking feature is the shepherdess herself. Depicted alongside two sheep and a dog, she automatically raises and lowers her arm (pictured top right).

The King Farouk Shepherdess Automaton, sold for $690,281

Overall, the watch boasts seven movements including the animals raising and lowering their heads and a revolving water wheel, with the water represented by rotating glass rods.

Behind the moving figures is a finely painted polychrome enamel background depicting a Swiss lake setting, complete with a mill and split pearl-size bezels.

On the watch's reverse is an oval medallion, also finely painted with a polychrome enamel scene of two rosy-cheeked children in red, yellow and magenta. One is playing a horn while the other looks on.

The watch face contains a number of moving automated figures

It is understood that the watch was originally made for the Chinese market, and boasts exceptionally craftsmanship using three-colour gold, enamel and split pearl shield.

Sold in a presentation box dated to after the watch's construction, this remarkable and unique timepiece sold to a Swiss collector for well over its pre-sale estimate. It eventually realised $690,281, including buyer's premium.

Values are shown in US dollars.


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